I was looking forward to seeing the movie version of Atlas Shrugged. The book has so many fans and is so talked about in conservative circles that it seemed a sure hit.
I have never read the book. I didn’t know if this was a plus or minus. I knew it was about capitalism, government interference and individualism. I didn’t know the plot or the characters.
It took a while for a novice to figure out the characters. After that, it was pretty easy as they seemed to fall into good guy/bad guy categories. Dagny Taggart, the heroine, faces obstacles with her railroad no matter how she tries to move forward. Ditto Hank Reardon, the other good guy with some secret metal alloy that might as well be kryptonite. The unions and the government thwart him at every turn. Naturally he teams up with Dagny and together they want to build a high speed rail through Colorado.
They succeed, but the forces against them plot to undo them. As friends of theirs keep missing, the question “Who is John Galt?” keeps surfacing. Dagny and Hank become intrigued and want to track him down, believing he had created a new engine that would revolutionize industry and lift the country out of its depression.
Before they can find anything out, a fire breaks out at their friend’s oil field in Colorado. Fearing that her railroad will be undermined by this loss, Dagny screams “No” and that ends part one.
Besides the characters being so one dimensional, the movie tries to squeeze in so much plot that it lumbers along. The editing seems awful as it jumps from one scene to the next somewhat disconnected.
The John Galt bit seems almost like a vaudeville routine. Subtety in message? Not here. The message of government being bad hits you on the head. I guess they are afraid you might miss it. You won’t.
The whole reminded me of watching the Lost series on TV. You keep thinking something interesting will happen; in the end you just feel like you’ve wasted your time.
Since there might not even be a Part 2 or 3 made, you’re better off reading the book and skipping this dud.